MIS Boarders accompanied by various staff members and volunteer parents, spent an Outdoor day at the Sanga Sanga Retreat Centre and Campsite. They took part in fun activities such as team-building, knot tying, making fire, compass making, learning about their senses, bird watching and an adventurous bush walk to a nearby waterhole. The recount below was written by Allan, with contributions from Nia and Hawa and says it all:

Last Saturday, the MIS Boarders accompanied by various staff members and volunteer parents, spent an Outdoor day at the Sanga Sanga Retreat Centre and Campsite. They took part in fun activities such as team-building, knot tying, making fire, compass making, learning about their senses, bird watching and an adventurous bush walk to a nearby waterhole. The recount below was written by Allan, with contributions from Nia and Hawa and says it all:

On Saturday, 6 March 2021 we went to Sanga Sanga Retreat Centre. The drive was about half an hour from school. The day started with loads of excitement as we sang during the bus ride. On arrival we were given basic information about the day and its activities along with some safety and precautionary instructions in case of anything.

After breakfast we were arranged into two teams and had our first event, the “Push of War” as some called it. In this event we had to push one end of the rope to the other team’s side. This activity had each team thinking outside the box, co-operating and communicating extremely well in order to win. After this we were broken down to smaller groups of about 6 or 7 people.

Our group was first to begin the knot tying activity with Mama Treth. She taught us how to tie different knots, like handcuff knots, munter knot and many more that can be used to rescue or protect ourselves in different situations. A personal favourite was the Chinese button know which, after 5 trials, I was able to master.

The taste test was next with Mrs Moore. While being blindfolded, we were able to taste and guess 6 fruit: a Pomelo, Jack fruit, grapefruit, strawberry, sour sop (staferi) and Java plum (zambarau). Interesting facts turns out the zambarau and sour sop are originally from Tanzania. What is more surprising is that the grapefruit is a hybrid between the Pomelo and orange courtesy of Spanish explorer, Columbus.

After lunch we continued with the compass activity, led by Dr Sarkardei. She taught us how to make a compass by using a needle, a magnet, a bottle cork and a cup of water. Prior to completing the first task, she gave us directions to help us find a prize she had hidden using the compasses we made. About 10 minutes later after many wrong turns, we found the prize hidden under a tree.

Team building with Mrs Anderson followed. “Teamwork makes a dream work!” This phrase is what she told us as we began our activities. First, we had to arrange ourselves in order according to our shoe size, hand span and hair length. Then we had to get into pairs and try to untwine ropes that were linked together without removing them from our hands. We then had to get a rope from our ankles to our shoulders within a circle and without using our arms or hands! Lastly, in two groups, each with one sack, we had to throw a ball from the first sack to the other and back.

Mama Reuben enlightened us with the art of bird watching. Apparently, despite her vast knowledge of different species of birds, Mama Reuben has only been doing this for three years. The birds we saw were beautiful and the activity itself was very relaxing and peaceful. We managed to spot a Red Bishop, a Pin-tailed Whydah, a black-backed puffback, and ten more different species before the 20 minutes of the walk ended. One incredibly lucky group spotted an Elephant shrew! Not a bird, but still amazing!

Thanks to Mr Anderson, starting a fire may never be a problem! We were required to use 1 matchstick to start a fire. Sadly, it took most groups many failed attempts to start a fire. However, the most successful team managed to do it with just 2 matches!! Mr Anderson taught us how to tell the difference between a dry stick from a moist stick by breaking it. Some other helpful tips were how to arrange the twigs and dry leaves to help get enough ai for the fire to burn bright.

The final activity before dinner was a walk into the bush with Baba Reuben and Baba Treth. Baba Reuben gave us insights about important thing to carry with before venturing into the bushes. Along the way he asked that we pay attention to landmarks whenever we participate in such activities. Along the way we saw some cows and even spotted some paw prints that seemed to belong to a member of the cat family. Baba Reuben told us that the area used to be the migration corridor for wild animals to and from Mikumi and Saadani, but due to human activities most animals have moved away, leaving adaptive animals, such as leopards, behind.

Our last moments before we left were spent around a campfire under a beautiful stary sky. We had a chance to reflect on our day, socialize, enjoy and cherish each other’s company without interruptions from our electronic devices. To top it all off we had a rap battle between Amani and Jovin before singing on our way back to school in the bus. What a memorable day!